3 Tips for Maintaining Holistic Mental Health
After a challenging year, it might be hard to set intentions for keeping up with your mental health in the year to come. Physical health issues, loss, loneliness, anxiety, and depression all interfere with our confidence in our ability to maintain a healthy and happy mind. However, maintaining good mental health doesn't have to be a constant internal battle with your negative thoughts. Instead, it can be an assortment of habits and small actions that, together, help you improve your mental health holistically. If you find yourself struggling, these mental health tips can help.
#1. Make Exercise a Habit
Physical and mental health are intertwined in many complex ways. One way we can see the mind-body connection work in real-time is in the benefits of exercise on mental wellbeing. Of course, regular physical activity reduces the risk and severity of many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. Physical wellness means a lower likelihood of physical problems impairing mental health. But there's also plenty of evidence that physical activity directly improves mental health.
When you exercise, your stress levels drop, and you produce hormones that make you feel happier. Over time, exercise improves your metabolism, strength, and stamina, meaning you're better able to take on other tasks in your life. You can read more about how exercise aids in stress management here.
Additionally, according to the NIH, physical activity has an antidepressant effect, and that effect persists over time with continuous exercise. Overall, the benefits of exercise on the mental health of older adults are scientifically well established.
Incorporating exercise into your routine could look like many different things: a morning walk around the neighborhood, gardening, swimming, yoga, hiking, strength training, and more. Physical exercise is by far one of the easier and simpler tips to improve mental health.
#2. Invest in Yourself
You don't have to wait until your mental health becomes a noticeable issue to take steps to improve it. Simple acts of care toward yourself, built into your routine, can help cultivate peace and happiness and make you more resilient to challenges. For example, if you know that you struggle with seasonal affective disorder, consider using a SAD lamp. If you deal with anxiety paired with sleep problems, you could look for a weighted blanket to soothe your nerves.
It's also worth taking the time for measures that make maintaining your overall health easier. Preventative care visits, for example, can help you get ahead of potential health issues and give you some peace of mind. Activities like yoga can help reduce stress, strengthen your body, and keep you centered, mindful, and aware. Keeping your brain active is important, too, in preventing and treating negative feelings, anxiety, and mood disorders, as well as helping your mind work the best it can. Just like the muscles in your body, your brain needs strength training too. Investing in yourself is a vital self-care tip for mental health. Knowing and fulfilling your mental needs is just as important as your physical needs.
#3. Reach Out and Grow Your Network
One of the most important things to maintain as you deal with aging anxieties is your network of loved ones. Isolation is not inevitable; if you want more care and attention from the people in your life, push yourself to reach out for support. If you're reluctant to ask for more help from your closest circle, then reach out wider and grow your support network so that you have more people you can count on and spend time with. If you're feeling socially isolated, look for a new activity that has avenues for social connection. Even if it's an independent activity, there are plenty of welcoming online communities where you can connect with others over something you all enjoy.
Taking a Holistic Approach to Mental Health is Important
Your mind is part of your physical wellbeing, so it's important to prioritize its health just as much as we do the other parts of our body. There are small measures we can take to maintain mental health so that we can be more resilient against different challenges and face life's issues with ease and grace. Investing time and energy in your mental health by incorporating healthy habits into your routine and cultivating a reliable support network will pay off in your overall happiness and quality of life, as well as your physical health. Maintaining good mental health is a step toward the goal of not just adding 'years to life,' but 'life to years.'
About the Author
Isaac Smith, MAT, LCSW, NTP. is a licensed therapist in Sacramento, nutritional therapy practitioner, and the owner of Whole Wellness Therapy. He provides psychotherapy and counseling services to individuals, couples and families. Isaac specializes in treating addiction, anxiety and grief and loss with emergent and traditional evidence-based practices. Allergic to one-size-fits all approaches, Isaac focuses on collaboration to create an individualized and unique treatment plan for each client.
His goal is to support my clients in overcoming the things holding them back from living a life imbued with purpose and meaning—to help them get reconnected. Meet with Isaac if you are interested in speaking with someone who meets you where you're at while encouraging you forward, and focuses on the interplay between mind, body and spirit to help you achieve real holistic health and emotional wellness.
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
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